At the dawn of the 16th century A.D., the Safavid Dynasty, under the dynamic leadership of Shah Esmail Safavi, established its capital at the city of Tabriz. Involved in matters of high culture as well as political governance, Shah Esmail commissioned the Persian master Behzad to produce various works for the royal court. Thus encouraged by dynastic mandate, the School of Tabriz reached its creative peak.
While it did not achieve the artistic stature of other contemporary movements (the distinguished Taymourian School, in particular), the Tabriz artists were at least notable for their eccentric art stylings and modes of dress. Donning elaborate Safavian turbans (consisting of red cloth wound around a headpiece twelve times, symbolizing the Shi'ite religious belief in the Twelve Imams), the school's adherents made use of exaggerated, often overblown and pretentious effects to produce calligraphy and artwork which, while rarely surpassing the work of previous periods, left its own distinct mark on Persian culture.

One area in which Behzad and the Tabriz School did achieve a degree of prominence was in the use of brightness and light color contrasts, creating a fresh, airy quality to paintings. In this respect, even some of the great achievements of contemporary schools, such as Shah Tamas' calligraphed copies of Shahnameh and Khamseh Nesami, fall short of the Tabriz Standard.

Persian Paintings Digitograph Galleries

Quality custom editions of Persian art on canvas, from traditional art to contemporary Iranian artists, Original Paintings, will be available for purchase through our representatives or galleries worldwide.

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